Wednesday, June 29, 2016


                     On good authority I will accept   

                     We’ve each a soul that after death endures
                     And in another realm is safely kept,
                     An essence that eternally is yours.

                     Presumably, life after life occurs,
                     Each bringing opportunities to grow
                     Beyond being hateful or perverse
                     And learn to love and ever live in flow—

                    All which instructs and prompts us to proceed
                    On paths of hope, kindness and charity,
                    According to each great religion’s creed,
                    Knowing that hate and greed are heresy.

                         To do this takes inspired discipline
                         And firm determination to begin.


Monday, June 27, 2016


                    I write a poem not to speak my mind,
                    Informing others what I have to say,
                    But rather, it’s a way for me to find
                    Elusive thoughts that otherwise would stay
                    Inchoate and aloof without this mode
                    Of rattling my brain to shake things loose
                    During my early morning episode
                    When, pen in hand, I call upon the Muse—
                    And rarely am I left without reply
                    Because, I think, implicit in this form
                    Of metrical and rhyming verse there lie
                    Latent ideas that will awake and swarm:
                        The paradox is that by what I’m bound
                        I’m freed to see what I’d have never found.


Sunday, June 26, 2016


                      How could the universe have come to be
                      And, more amazingly, have brought forth me

                      And yes, you too—what can we make of this:
                      That everything arose from an abyss
                      And has expanded everlastingly
                      Extending toward infinity?
                      It cannot be but this is all designed
                      By some transcendent cosmologic mind,
                      Some part of which each creature manifests,
                      All following the mandates in their breasts
                      To realize potentialities
                      That make their viability increase
                      And, in our case, at best we’ll realize
                      Our human sapience by growing wise.


Saturday, June 25, 2016


                    There’s never been a time more wondrous
                    To live than now, nor also perilous:
                     With our astonishing technologies,
                     We’ve flown beyond our planet’s boundaries
                     And altered every habitat below:
                     Sometimes to our elation, sometimes woe.
                     We can be brilliant, but we’re clearly flawed
                     Especially when we’re negligent of God,
                     Good Orderly Direction in our souls,
                     To help determine our important goals,
                     Implicit guidance to decide what’s best,
                      What saints and sages wisely have professed.
                           We’re overdue to come into our own,
                           Our Homo sapience at last full grown.


Friday, June 24, 2016


                  Now here we go, to find out what’s to say,
                  A practice that I follow every day,
                  A kind of dialogue between the form
                  And matter, making new ideas swarm.
                  The fun is in my wit’s discovery
                  Of something that would never come to be
                  Without, ironically, the form’s constraints,
                  Enough to try the patience of wise saints.
                  And yet the form compels me to dig deep
                  To where appropriate notions lie asleep
                   In the repository of my mind
                   From which emerging sense can be designed.
                        Though this may seem an odd and tedious ploy,
                         Well played, this process leads at last to joy.


Thursday, June 23, 2016


                    First thing every morning of each day
                    I make a point to hold the world at bay
                    With all its business and urgencies
                    So I may contemplate and write in peace:

                    This rare serenity sustains a mood
                    That generates a lyric attitude,
                    And soon a line emerges in my mind
                    That shows which way my poem is inclined,

                    Which seems as much unfolded as composed
                    As if revealed in daydream while I dozed;
                    So, fancifully, I’ll say some spirit guide
                    In whom I transcendentally confide
                    Provides the hints and clues I come to use,
                    All done with thankful reverence to my Muse.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016


                      I like to think that when I die I’ll go
                      Not out, as candles do, but simply on
                      Into another realm we cannot know
                      Till then, but only speculate upon.

                     That we are here, conscious and animate,
                     Already proves something miraculous
                     Invests the universe that may well let
                     Us live without a temporal terminus.

                     The mystery of existence is so vast
                     Our sciences have only just begun
                     To fathom such conundrums, but at last
                     May ferret out what stays when life is done:

                         What essence still survives some other way
                         That may appear again another day.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


                   There’s a dimension both our doggies know
                    Embarking on their morn and evening walks
                    Enticing them where I don’t let them go
                    And Gyppie most particularly stalks:
                    Their sense of smell being so much more acute
                    Than mine, it draws them off our path to sniff
                    Some pungent rottenness they’d love to loot,
                    And if I’m not alert, then in a jiff
                    One’s scarfed it up—most likely it’s big Gyp,
                    But little Tig snaps many a trifle up
                    And once she’s latched, she’ll not let loose her grip
                    And, loot in mouth, she’s one ferocious pup.
                        We’ve learned it’s better they be fed before
                        We leash them up and let them out the door.


Monday, June 20, 2016


                    Now surely there is something to explore
                    By means of writing metered lines of verse,
                    Some topic I’ve not scrutinized before
                    That turning out a sonnet may disburse
                    Because a composition such as this
                    Works to evoke from one’s subconscious mind
                    What otherwise remains in that abyss
                    And by no other means may be designed.
                    There’s magic in the web of this old form
                    That poets over centuries have employed
                    That stirs one’s brain and makes ideas swarm
                    Where formerly there’d be a dismal void.
                        If you don’t know what you may have to say,
                        Try writing sonnets—let them show the way.


Sunday, June 19, 2016


                      How warped a human being can be,
                      Compelled to live a wicked fantasy,

                      We’ve seen of late in our sad neighbor city,
                      Orlando, object of the nation’s pity,
                      The site of wanton carnage at a club
                      For gays and lesbians, a joyful hub
                      For music and for dancing through the night
                      Now ravaged by the darkness of this blight.

                     This tragedy headlined the nation’s news
                     Changing, perhaps, some homophobic views
                     By seeing where such prejudices lead:
                     To madness sparking an atrocious deed.
                     There’s nothing in this story to uplift
                     Unless it prompts a fundamental shift.


Saturday, June 18, 2016


                       Who are the harbingers of who we’ll be
                       When we have reached our true maturity,
                       We Homo sapiens, not fully wise
                       With more capacity to realize?

                       Both Socrates and Aristotle showed
                       Their ways to travel along Wisdom’s Road
                       While Jesus and his saintly followers
                       Taught how to free us from the ancient curse

                      Of disobedience to God’s command
                      To love each other and to understand
                      That only by our acts of charity
                      Shall we become who we are meant to be:

                           It’s by our loving kindness we’ll proclaim
                           The sapience implicit in our name.


Friday, June 17, 2016


                Although I’ve known several dogs before,
                I never thought I’d have such a rapport
                As I do now with Tiggy, little dear,
                Who, as I write, is snuggling right here
                Beside my hip in our shared easy chair,
                As safe and comfortable as any lair,
                Serving me often as my morning muse
                Providing me with notions I can use.
                This little daemon, though, at other times
                Turns demon—ask our squirrels—intending crimes
                And making mayhem in our dawning yard,
                Quite disconcerting to a would-be-bard.
                     But now she’s settled down, her breathing slow,
                     Because of which, I have this verse to show.


Thursday, June 16, 2016


                  While early-morning birds cheep-cheep, the squirrels
                  Bray and caw, enticing to our girls
                  Now eager for their outing in the yard,
                  Though catching any critter’s way too hard
                  As I toss to the squirrels handfuls of nuts
                  To stash away in their tall oak tree huts.

                 The dogs are now inside enjoying treats,
                 Rewards for their squirrel-chasing feats
                 They think, but rather for their having peed,
                 And now the morning regimen may proceed,
                 For shortly I’ll have polished off my poem,
                 They’ll have been fed, and we’ll set off to roam
                 The neighborhood to scan for cats while I
                  Bag up their poops, love never asking why.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


“Integration with the infinite is the task 
of the mature individual.” —Carl Jung

                    The chief task of our sapience is to grow
                    Into a state of mind rightly aligned
                    With what all who are wise have come to know,
                    The noblest potential of our kind:

                    A Cosmic Consciousness—a mystic view
                    Of the invisible matrix from which
                    Is born the multiverse, with much ado,
                    Where all creation finds its proper niche,

                   And so it is with us, tasked to find out
                   With our expanding consciousness our aim
                   And what this multiverse is all about:
                   What it is headed for and whence it came.

                       When we have rightly read the Cosmos’ mind
                       We’ll have done that for which we are designed.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016


To write an essay
or—even more—a sonnet is an act of discovery or evocation.  It is an attempt (the literal meaning of essay) to reveal what you don’t yet know you have to say, which emerges as you write—to your surprise and delight, if all goes well.

In expository, as distinguished from creative writing, you do know in advance at least the gist of what your composition will elaborate and clarify; but creative writing finds out as it proceeds what it will become.

There is no Muse for expository prose because there is no mystery to be fathomed, no Ah-Ha! to happen as when composing a poem or an essay.  The motto for such creative endeavors is not so silly as it sounds: “How do I know what I think till I see what I say?”


Monday, June 13, 2016


                    I feel your pain; I feel your happiness:
                    By sympathy I always keep in touch
                    And know how you are doing, more or less,
                    Eager to help you if you’re in a clutch.


Sunday, June 12, 2016


                  For all we know, our opportunity
                  To live comes once, as if we were a spark
                  That may remain in others’ memory
                  Awhile, but soon is destined to go dark

                  Unless in our brief residence we make
                  Some artifact or deed that will endure
                  Or, God forbid, some horrible mistake—
                  Though, best of all, would be to grow mature:

                  To realize potentialities
                  That bring new benefits into the world
                  That otherwise are moldering latencies,
                  Lost opportunities, a flag unfurled.

                      What is it, then, that you can make or do
                      That shows what goal you’re destined to pursue?


Saturday, June 11, 2016

                                        GROWING WHOLE

                   Some hundred years from now, how will this world
                   Appear, assuming no catastrophe?
                   What new potentials will be then unfurled
                   Now in their insubstantial latency?

                   My hope is that we’ll finally realize
                   Collectively the errors of our ways
                   And learn the sapience our name implies
                   By growing wise and ending our malaise.

                   The motivation to amass more wealth
                   While seeking higher status on some scale
                   Will cease when we discover what true health
                   Entails and follow ardently that trail.

                       A Global Wisdom Culture is our goal
                       The only way our species can grow whole.


Friday, June 10, 2016


for Tom Lombardo and Nicholas Maxwell

                   How did it come to be life happened here—
                   That this great globe in space could generate
                   From primal elements an atmosphere
                   That breathed into an inorganic state
                   What animated it and bid it breed
                   So over eons it grew more complex
                   As if by plan, eventually to succeed
                   In making something with immense prospects:
                   That would be us.  Now, what are we to do?
                   Grow wise and exercise that sapience
                   For which we’ve doubly named ourselves, but who
                   Alas, for all our progress, remain dense.
                        Still, wisdom is implicit in our race,
                        And it’s our mission to express that grace.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

                    Although the end for me is not in sight,
                    Yet still it’s time to get a few things right.
                    And though at my age it may seem quite odd,
                    I’ve still not settled on a faith in God;
                    The most I’ll say is that All seems designed
                    By what appears as Universal Mind,
                    Not Someone I can humbly supplicate
                    Who lives in Heaven behind a pearly gate,
                    But rather an impersonal cosmic force
                    Now widely designated as just “Source.”
                    The best course for my life’s then to display
                    That I have exercised my mind each day,
                    Engaged in the same creativity
                    That somehow brought this universe to be.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016


                      How to explain this wondrous mystery
                      That we and all of life inhabit here,
                       A rock in space within a galaxy,
                       A rock that somehow grew an atmosphere
                       And, most miraculous, organic cells
                       That over eons have evolved to us
                       Amongst the panoply of life that dwells
                       Here now—a spectacle that’s marvelous.

                       Our most persuasive theory is that Mind
                       Pervades the cosmos and can generate
                       Materiality in ways designed
                       To bring forth beings who themselves create
                       Still more complexity and grow aware
                       Of the amazing Mind that brought them here.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


                     It cannot be this All is accident,
                     The multiverse no more than happenstance,
                     But proceeds from a Mind with an intent,
                     A plan that it’s invented to advance;
                     For surely life on Earth, and humankind
                     Especially, is evidence that some
                     Cosmic Intelligence had us in mind
                     With a design for what we might become,
                     Evolving beyond brutal beastliness
                     Into a consciousness cosmically informed,
                     Instructing us the way we should progress,
                     And by an innate sense of kindness warmed:
                          Good Orderly Direction, known as GOD,
                          Has raised us to this eminence from sod.


Monday, June 6, 2016


                   What if, indeed, my consciousness persists,
                   And I’m possessed of an immortal mind,
                   A thought the die-hard rationalist resists,
                   But what credentialed psychics have divined?
                   Convinced of this, I think my life would change:
                   I would not be a victim of despair,
                    And much of what I do I’d rearrange
                   No longer frightened of some demon’s snare.
                   And yet, the power of a deadline to
                   Focus the mind and keep one on the ball
                   Incentivizes much of what I do—
                   Without such urgent prompting, I might stall.
                        Without the scythe’s sound swishing at my back,
                        My mind’s creative tension would go slack.



                      To write a sonnet is to play a game
                      To find out what you didn’t know you knew,
                      Yet working through the form reveals your aim
                      As your rhyming pentameters accrue.
                      This surely is what Shakespeare learned as he,
                      Beginning his career, first turned his hand
                      To master the sweet craft of sonnetry
                      Before attempting something far more grand.
                      But, unlike him, I did not graduate
                      To the dramatic mode, but just wrote more
                      And more fourteeners, good but hardly great,
                      Without the art that makes the Bard’s verse soar.
                           And yet it is an exercise I’ll still
                           Practice, in hopes to grow as good as Will.


Friday, June 3, 2016


                    Implicit in the cosmos there is Mind,
                    The Source by which all beings are designed,
                    The most complex of which, it seems, is we,
                    And yet its essence is a mystery.
                    Good Orderly Direction, nicknamed GOD,
                    Has elevated us from a mere clod
                    Into a creature with an intellect
                    Who can on all creation now reflect
                    And may commune directly with our Source
                    Learning how to guide our species’ course—
                    Which it is now imperative we do
                    Since now so many ends that we pursue
                    Will ruin this unique experiment
                    And prove itself not heaven- but hell-bent.